Monthly Archives: November 2009

Russian Derailment Was Terrorist Attack

The derailment last night of a high-speed Moscow-to-St. Petersburg train that killed more than 25 people apparently was a terrorist attack, Russian authorities say: Russian officials opened a terrorism investigation Saturday, saying that a homemade bomb planted on the tracks of the high-speed Moscow-to-St. Petersburg route caused a derailment that killed at least 26 people and injured dozens more. The head of Russia’s Federal Security Service, Alexander Borotnikov, was quoted »

Trying KSM: Why? part 4

We have criticized the Obama administration’s decision to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his fellow 9/11 conspirators in federal court in several posts. Attorney General Holder’s press conference announcing the decision is available here in its entirety. In “A reasonable decision,” Jim Comey and Jack Goldsmith step forward to defend the Obama administration’s decision. Among other qualifications, Comey and Goldsmith are former high-ranking officers of the Justice Department during the »

The 35-year war on the CIA

Not long after 9/11, I told a friend that at least now the CIA would be rebuilt and given the means and the backing needed to prevent attacks like this. My faith in this prediction seemed justified when I attended a party in mid-2002. A lefty was lamenting that all the reforms brought about since the days of Frank Church mgiht now be undone. Michael Isikoff, who happened to be »


Regular readers know that I have little regard for the New York Times. But I assumed that, no matter how misguided the paper’s politics might be, it did have some standards relating to grammar and punctuation. So I was astonished to see this, on the front page of the Times’ web site: My fifth-grade teacher, Miss Klock, would be spinning in her grave, except that she was a Republican and »

Is insuring the uninsured a moral imperative?

Charles Krauthammer explains why the Senate and House health care reform bills should be “killed” and why Congress should opt instead for “targeted measures that attack the inefficiencies of the current system one by one — tort reform, interstate purchasing and taxing employee benefits.” Krauthammer’s analysis is fully persuasive. However, near the end of his column he states that “insuring the uninsured is a moral imperative.” This may be one »

The Merseyside derby, then and now

One of Everton’s most prominent supporters, who is in failing health, recounts this story: The doctor tells him “I have good news and bad news.” The Evertonian says, “tell me the bad news first.” The doctor responds, “your cancer is spreading rapidly.” “So what’s the good news?” the Evertonian asks. “You won’t have to see Everton play at Kirkby.” This story captures the view of most die-hard Everton fans about »

It’s B-a-a-a-ack!

I’m the wrong guy to draw this analogy, since I never go to horror movies–they scare me. But I believe there is one long-running series featuring a serial killer who wears a hockey mask and carries a chain saw or some such thing, and keeps coming back, seemingly from the dead. That’s how I’m starting to see the Democrats’ government medicine plan. Try as hard as they might, the American »

Lebanon for the Lebanese, what the U.S. can do to help

This article by Peter Berkowitz in the Weekly Standard brings us up to date on the situation in Lebanon, where an election was held in June, but a new government is only now being formed. In the election, a moderate, pro-Western, pro-democracy coalition — led by Saad Hariri, son of the linfluential anti-Syria eader whose death by car bombing in 2005 sparked the “Cedar Revolution” — exceeded expectations and obtained »

Annals of Government Medicine

Hospital conditions in the United Kingdom are frequently appalling, but the Basildon and Thurrock University National Health Service Hospitals are especially bad, with hundreds of preventable deaths occurring yearly. The Telegraph headlines, “Hundreds of patients died needlessly at NHS hospital due to appalling care”: Poor nursing care, filthy wards and lack of leadership at Basildon and Thurrock University NHS Hospitals FoundationTrust led to the deaths of up to 400 patients »

Those “crazy” Israelis — their uses and their limits

The Washington Post reports that the Obama administration secured China’s cooperation in dealing with Iran by holding out the specter of an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. According to the Post, two senior officials on the National Security Council – Jeffrey Bader and the ubiquitous Dennis Ross – told China that if it did not help the U.S. on the issue of Iranian nukes, Israel might well bomb Iran. »

Dubious Distinction

The Obama administration is shattering all records for spending in its first year: In fiscal 2009 the federal government spent $3.52 trillion — $2.8 trillion in 2000 dollars, which sets a benchmark for comparison. … [C]ompared with other presidents’ first years in office, Obama is running circles around them. Bush spent $1.8 trillion in 2001, according to government budget figures that have been adjusted for inflation based on 2000 dollars. »

“Dead End” On Iran

Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, says what should have been obvious for a while: the IAEA’s effort to rein in Iran’s nuclear weapons program is futile: The International Atomic Energy Agency probe of Iran’s nuclear program is at a dead end because Tehran is not cooperating, the chief of the U.N. nuclear watchdog said Thursday in an unusually blunt expression of frustration four days before he »

Happy Thanksgiving…

…to all of our readers. As always, we have much to be thankful for, even though this season has been a tough one in some respects. This year we’re having an organic, free-range turkey, certified never-penned and never-caged. We’ll see if we can tell the difference. UPDATE: Here’s the turkey; it was excellent: »

Freedom of speech personified

Bruce Cole is the president of the American Revolution Center, to be sited at the Independence National Park in downtown Philadelphia as the first museum and education center dedicated to teaching the story of the American Revolution. He is also the art historian who served as the pre-Obama worship chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Last month the Wall Street Journal published his column “Freedom of speech personfied” »

Paul Rahe: America’s first socialist republic

In view of his study of Republics Ancient and Modern, Professor Paul Rahe is one of the academy’s foremost authorities on the history of republics. Although his recent work on “soft despotism” is not far from his Thanksgiving reflections this year, neither is his older work on republics: On Thanksgiving, it is customary that Americans recall to mind the experience of the Pilgrim Fathers This year, it is especially appropriate »

A “slow motion recovery”?

The Federal Reserve has delivered a rather bleak forecast for the U.S. economy, not just in the short-term, but in the medium-term as well. The Fed is predicting that the unemployment rate will be in just below 10 percent at this time next year and in the 6.8 to 7.5 percent range at the end of 2012. In other words, while we may not see a jobless recovery, the Fed »

“Six Charged In Town Hall Disturbance”

That’s the headline in the St. Louis Post Dispatch. The reference is to the attack on Kenneth Gladney by thugs from the SEIU, although if you didn’t already know that, I’m not sure you could glean it from the Post-Dispatch’s account. One of those charged is a Post-Dispatch reporter who allegedly failed to obey police commands to leave the scene of the disturbance. The union thugs are charged only with »